One Sunday, as Charlie was listening to a preacher’s sermon at his local church, he began to experience something new—a state of increased awareness. He became more aware of himself sitting in the church pew. It was as though he had just awakened from a dream or from deep sleep.
He now sensed himself more fully in the midst of the worship service. Up until that moment his notion of himself was purely imagined and more obscure!
This shift in consciousness alarmed Charlie. What state was he in before that moment—a state which dominated most of his life’s activities? It was as though he hadn’t really participated in the worship service but was acting as an automaton and on automatic pilot!
Were the worshippers around him asleep at the wheel as well, or, were they just being nice to him and he would be the last to know?
Charlie believed that attending and supporting his church was a good thing, but wondered if the Lord God ever addressed the issue of getting the human race out of this dreamlike state. After all, heaven is not a place for automatons.
On pondering this question, he remembered that just before Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden in Genesis he was put to sleep—out of which Eve appeared. Charlie questioned if this theological state of sleep was similar to his imagined and semi-conscious world of selfhood. Why did Holy Scripture contain so many warnings about “waking up”?
Charlie soon felt dread. He knew that no one would take him seriously about the possibility of going through life being hypnotized or that salvation included the process of becoming de-hypnotized. As long as his church was focused on kindness, no one would be suspicious of the psycho-mechanical obstacles to spiritual growth.
Charlie wondered if anyone else had made a similar self-discovery. Such individuals would be necessary to finding his true spiritual community and church.
(My third book Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links addresses the human hypnotic condition.)